FAQ

How do I declare a major or minor in philosophy?

Fill out a Request for Record of Degree Program (RDP) form and submit it to the Academic Advising Centre

Switching your major? You'll need to fill out a program change form.

Learn more about how to declare your program.

Is PHIL 100 really a full-year (3.0 units) course?

Yes! The UVic registration system currently has a glitch that lets students register for the September and January terms of PHIL 100 individually. Make sure you register for both terms as it's a full year course. Otherwise you won't get any credit for the course.

Can I switch sections of PHIL 100 in January?

No. Instructors use their own textbooks, reading schedule and grading system. Switching between sections midway through the year is not possible.

What can I do with my philosophy degree?

Lots of things! Studying philosophy will give you a set of transferable skills that are useful for any profession. Take a look at our why study philosophy page for some more information and links to articles that show how well philosophy majors perform on standardized tests like the GRE. You can also read profiles of very successful people who majored in philosophy.

Why are PHIL 321, 330, 331, 333 and 379 excluded from counting toward the courses numbered 300 and above required for a philosophy degree?

These courses are excluded because they do not require any prior experience in philosophy. They can still count toward the general units required for a major degree. Contact our undergraduate adviser for help in planning your degree.

There are only 21 units of philosophy courses required for a Major in philosophy. Can I really graduate from UVic with a degree in philosophy after taking only 21 units?

No. The 21 units listed for a major in philosophy are the requirements set by our department. To graduate from UVic, you must also satisfy the requirements set by the Faculty of Humanities.

When and how do I apply for the honours philosophy program?

We usually only consider applications for the honours program after you've completed your second year of study. If you've recently transferred to UVic, you'll normally only be considered only after establishing a track record of UVic courses.

To apply to the honours program, just email the current undergraduate adviser and officially request to be considered for the program. The adviser will look over your academic history and evaluate your application.

Does philosophy make any difference in the real world?

It certainly does. Many of our courses deal explicitly with real-world issues. Just take a look at PHIL 235 (Ethics of Violence, War and Terrorism) or PHIL 331 (Biomedical Ethics). Even our courses that deal with more abstract subjects help make a difference in the real world. Philosophy can serve as a form of strength training for your mind. It addresses abstract questions to develop your critical thinking skills, which certainly make a difference to the real world.

Can I use the same courses toward a philosophy major and a minor in applied ethics (MAE)?

No. Courses counting toward the MAE cannot (except in rare cases) simultaneously count toward a major degree. This is a general university regulation.  Contact advising for more information about "double-counting."

The prerequisite for a course I want to take says "or permission of the department." Who do I contact to request this permission?

Normally, you should contact the course instructor. Find contact information on our Faculty page. If they don't get back to you in a timely manner, contact the undergraduate adviser.

What makes philosophy so unbelievably awesome that I can't even remember what my life was like before I starting studying it?

We don't know. We can't remember either.